…many wounded, vehicles vandalized
Hoodlums who allegedly disguised as road side traders in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, have launched an attack against the enforcement team of Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA), for enforcing Court Orders against their illegal activities.
The ugly incidence which took place in the evening of Friday, October 11, 2019, around the popular Ibom Plaza, city center of the oil rich State, had some enforcement officers of the Agency wounded, vehicles vandalized, while members of the public around the scene, took to their heels for safety.
From an eye witness account, the joint enforcement team of Vigilante group of Nigeria (VGN) and Men of Nigerian Police force engaged by the Agency were on duty and in the process apprehended offenders of the environmental laws and in a bid to show solidarity with their partners in crime, a cluster of “armed” men attacked the enforcement team who were on ground to evacuate street traders for free flow of traffic.
Speaking, one of those who led the attack on the law enforcement officers but was incidentally apprehended, identified himself as Mr. John Okafor from Enugu State. Okafor who admitted that he has no shop within the plaza market, disclosed that he makes a living from selling by the road side.
Narrating the cause of the panic in the city center of the State capital and why the enforcement team was attacked with stones, matchet and some metallic objects, Mr. Okafor disclosed that his brothers from the East amongst others launched the attack as a defense to secure his release.
On his part, the State commandant of the VGN, Mr. Joshua Dickson who also confirmed that one of his men was stabbed on the head and others wounded, reiterated that no amount of threat will distract them from enforcing environmental laws. “We will not be intimidated, we will continue to ensure that all offenders of the environmental laws are made to face the full weight of the law. We will continue to discharge our duty without fear or favour.” Dickson added.
It could be Recalled that road side trading in Akwa Ibom State had long been prohibited and in a recent development, more than 300 men and officers of the VGN have been engaged by the waste Management Agency to enforce all environmental laws in Akwa Ibom State.